- Posted by Snapclarity
- On July 15, 2019
Many of us relate to feeling too busy at times, both at work and at home. Complaining about being busy and working long hours has become so common that most of us do it without thinking. If someone asks: “How are you?” We no longer say: “I’m fine” or “I’m well, thank you.” We often reply with: “I’m so busy!“
Being busy may not always be a bad thing as long as it’s purposeful, brings satisfaction, and doesn’t leave you feeling drained or chronically stressed. However, the danger we see in others (or experience ourselves) is when it goes from ‘I’m busy,’ to becoming addicted to busyness and at high risk of burnout.
Who is in danger of becoming addicted to being busy?
Research finds the happiest people balance busy schedules by not feeling rushed. Only a tenth of Americans attain this elusive balance, and perhaps it’s because we may even enjoy the adrenaline rush of busyness and wear it as a badge of honour.
Overachievers and perfectionists often fall into the trap of busyness by working harder and longer. When this behaviour is rewarded in the workplace, it fans the ‘busyness’ fire for those at high risk of burnout or other mental health issues.
“Workaholism is a great addiction for those of us who crave acknowledgement because it provides endless opportunities for people to remark upon how hard we work.” – Meshel Laurie, radio and television presenter
The crazy-busy addiction is embedded in our modern culture
People may also use busyness as a shield to avoid confronting unpleasant truths in their lives. Dr. Brene Brown in Daring Greatly argues that people use different numbing strategies as armour against vulnerability. Brown talks about one of the most prevalent numbing strategies people use that goes beyond drugs or alcohol — it’s what she calls “crazy-busy.”
Dr. Brown says, “I often say that when they start having 12-step meetings for busy-aholics, they’ll need to rent out football stadiums. We are a culture of people who’ve bought into the idea that if we stay busy enough, the truth of our lives won’t catch up with us.”
How to spot the busy addiction:
- Your favourite compliment has become: “I don’t know how you manage it, you’re always so busy.”
- You’re in your glory when you are at your busiest.
- You don’t have (or make) time for your loved ones.
5 ways to tackle your busy addiction:
- Drop it: Is this even something I need to do — can I drop it entirely?
- Delegate it: Is this something I can delegate to someone else?
- Simplify it: Does it need to be this complicated? Tackle critical projects by looking to see how to make them easier for yourself.
- Decline it: Learn to say ‘no’ more often. Saying no is not being impolite — it defines who you are and how you manage your time.
- Block it: Avoid overloading your calendar by blocking unscheduled time in your day for meaningful tasks. Protect time in-between meetings to reflect, prepare or take a much-needed break.
Dropping the busyness addiction
When you drop the busyness addiction you remove non-essential items from your to-do list and make time for what really matters in your life. By shifting your approach from doing everything to doing fewer things, you stand to reap the joy of not only having achieved a job well done but removing the whopping portion of stress and anxiety from your plate.
Be honest with yourself and strive to ditch the supersize order of busyness from your life.